It seems that we hardly go a week without hearing of yet another ‘assassination’ type episode where multiple deaths occur because an ‘angry man’ has taken to the streets and slaughtered anyone he can see, starting with those he perceives as having caused him ‘harm.’ The weapon of choice is often reported as a ‘military’ style weapon and regularly, the perpetrator is later reported to have had ‘mental health issues.’ That does not surprise me, because even in a much smaller population as in New Zealand, such small-scale events occur.
What is hard to believe is that this terrible situation has been apparent for many years and despite calls from those at the highest level for some sanity to prevail, nothing has really changed. It seems that such is the strength of the lobby groups who appeal to some base ‘sprit’ within the USA population, that it is an ‘inalienable right to bear arms’ and as a result, it is almost impossible to challenge the present state of affairs.
The pleas from the father of one of the victims who was gunned down in the most recent case would have been heard by most Americans, yet his words will soon be forgotten as the next group of victims takes the place on the screens of TVs and computers. The NRA will remain silent and the politicians who could bring about the necessary debate; one in which the USA leaves behind its historical ‘love affair’ (and many would say a necessary one in the past) and seeks new solutions. Is it possible to have this debate in a rational matter, or are politicians of both political parties to afraid to go near what is seen as a sacrosanct and ingrained belief? Is the bottom line about losing votes if the question is even raised? Is it only going to be the parents and loved ones of the victims who are going to shout loudest?
I am sure we will see an almost tearful Obama speaking out about the loss of so many innocent lives, but then he will back off, because he knows that unless there is a huge groundswell of opinion, one readily measured in polls, that the issue will remain ‘there’ but untouchable.
I know the explanation for this dilemma is to be found in the history of ‘nation forming,’ for the USA but surely that time has passed. In this modern day of spectacular technological advance, is it not possible to ‘be safe,’ using the new developments? NO---because another lobby group will emerge that will challenge the right of the Government to ‘protect us’ from the ‘Big Brother is watching you,’ scenario. The bottom line is the ‘fear for ones safety and life’—and so far, all the USA (and other countries) can offer is to keep the ‘status quo,’ because other solutions do not guarantee their hold on power.
In the meantime, the carnage continues.